Ginger and Hibiscus Poached Pears

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine taken from Feasts of Veg: Vibrant vegetarian recipes for gatherings

Poached pears look and taste stunning and are simple to make.  Here, they are infused with aromatic fresh ginger and hibiscus tea, and served with vanilla ice cream.

Poached PearsIngredients (Serves 4):

  • 4 firm pears, peeled but stalks intact
  • 1 ltr strong hibiscus tea (let it steep for 10 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp pureed fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp pureed lemongrass (optional)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve:-

  • Ice cream
  • Sprinkles of black sesame seeds

 

  1. Put the pears in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with the hibiscus tea and add the pureed ginger, pureed lemongrass, agave syrup and vanilla extract.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat but keep the pears in the syrup until serving.
  4. The pears can be poached up to two days in advance, then cooled and kept, tightly covered, in the fridge.
  5. Reheat gently before serving.
  6. Carefully remove the pears from the syrup and serve with vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle the pears and ice cream with black sesame seeds.

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Fig Crostata with Rosemary Custard

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and taken from a book called Feasting.

Figs are believed to have originated in the Middle East and have a strong presence in the Bible.  Showcase their sweet flavour and luxurious texture in this rustic crostata.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:-

240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
80g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
120g cold butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
90g semolina
8 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthways
1 egg beaten, for glazing
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Rosemary Custard
750ml milk
2 rosemary sprigs
3 egg yolks
70g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour

Step One: Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of cold water, and blitz again until the dough comes together.  Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly.  Wrap in cling-film and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step Two: Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6. Roll out the dough into a large circle with a 30cm diameter. Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle one third of the semolina on top. Put the dough on top of the semolina and sprinkle the rest of the semolina on top of the dough.

Step Three: Arrange the figs on top of the pastry in an inner circle with a diameter of about 20cm. You should be left with a 10cm ring of pastry around the fruit. Fold up the edges of the pastry over the fruit. Glaze the pastry flap with the beaten egg and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.

Step Four: While the crostata is baking, make the rosemary custard. Pour the milk into a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the rosemary sprigs and warm through to infuse for 5-10 minutes.

Step Five: In a bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour to form a paste. When the milk is warm, remove the rosemary and pour 250ml of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Gently combine, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir continuously over a low heat until the custard thickens.

Step Six: Remove the crostata from the oven. Dust with icing sugar, if using, and serve with the rosemary custard on the side.

Chocolate Coconut Pots

‘Who could resist this heavenly dessert?’ asks Liz Earle in ‘The Good Menopause Guide’.  ‘It’s a treat for my friends who love the intense, rich flavour – but using relatively healthy ingredients.’ But, Earle warns, take care if chocolate triggers headaches, and eat at lunch to avoid the caffeine interfering with sleep.

Recipe taken from Psychologies March 2018.

Serves:  2    Setting time:  About 2 hours

Ingredients:  35g plain chocolate (85% cocoa), chopped; 6 tbsp coconut cream; 1 tsp coconut oil; 1 tbsp honey or date syrup; 1 medium organic egg, separated; 15g toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

Step One: Put the chocolate into a bowl with 4 tblsp of the coconut cream, the coconut oil and half the honey or date syrup.  Set the bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water, and heat until the chocolate melts.  You can also do this in the microwave on the lowest setting.

Step Two: Add the egg yolk to the mixture, and stir in slowly.

Step Three: Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until thick and mousse-like.  Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Step Four: Divide mixture between two small glasses and chill for 2 hours, until set.

Step Five:  Serve topped with the remaining coconut cream and sprinkled with the toasted coconut flakes.

  • You can also serve this with a few cacao nibs sprinkled on top.

Fig and Ginger pudding

Fig and ginger puddingIngredients:

150g (5oz) dried figs, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
185g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
210g (7oz) self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pecan nuts, roughly chopped, to serve
Stem ginger, to serve

For the Sauce:

125g (4oz) unsalted butter, cubed
150g (5oz) brown sugar
200ml (6 ½ oz) cream

Ice Cream, to serve

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins     Cook time:  40 mins

Step One:  Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Grease a 18cm (7in) round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.  Put the chopped figs in a bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and pour over 300ml ( 9 ½ fl oz) of boiling water.  Set aside.

Step Two: Beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then sift in the flour and ginger.  Add the soaked fig and the juice, then the vanilla and mix well.

Step Three:  Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and firm to touch.  A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.  Leave in the tin to cool, then carefully turn out on a baking tray.

Step Four:  When ready to serve, heat the oven to 200oC (gas mark 6).  Make the sauce by placing the butter, sugar and cream in a small saucepan.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Five:  Top the pudding with a few pieces of stem ginger and the pecans.  Pour a third of the sauce over the pudding and put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.  Serve immediately on individual plates, and serve with the remaining hot sauce and cream or ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine